The Progress Report Banner

What Women Need

What Women Need

The Shriver Report – A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink

Dee Saint Franc is a 23-year-old single mother to her 5-year-old daughter Azariah. After leaving foster care at age 18, Dee worked two jobs and depended on government assistance for the first year of her daughter’s life. Dee has earned her associate’s degrees from Johnson & Wales University; her bachelor’s degree in social work from Rhode Island College; and her certified nursing assistant license while working two jobs, and she struggles to find time to spend with her daughter.

Stories like Dee’s illustrate that in America, the average family is not what it used to be. Today, only one-fifth of our families have a male breadwinner and a female homemaker. It’s not only that women are breadwinning in most families. These days, more than half of babies born to mothers under age 30 are born to single mothers, the majority of whom are white. This is a seismic shift, and it’s time for our institutions to catch up.

With that in mind, The Center for American Progress collaborated with Maria Shriver to create The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink. Millions of American women live on the economic brink, a reality that creates an enormous number of people living in financial stress. The infographic below summarizes the scope of the challenge:


Be sure to visit the Center for American Progress or for much more, including essays by leading thinkers like Hillary Clinton and Anne-Marie Slaughter, and friends of the cause including Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, LeBron James, and Eva Longoria. You can download a free copy of the report via the Amazon Kindle store through January 15.

BOTTOM LINE: American women are the caregivers AND the breadwinners. They are increasingly “doing it on their own” – all of it. But they can’t build solid foundations for their families or their careers on shaky ground. Our personal and public priorities need to catch up to reality to ensure our country’s success. Because women now largely power our economic engine, when women succeed, we all succeed.